Athens, 24 September 2019 (dpa/MIA) – Greek labour unions, including those operating ferry and bus services, have launched the first strike since conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis took office in July.
The ferries, used daily by thousands of commuters and tourists between the Greek mainland and the islands, remained docked, while public road transport in urban areas was drastically reduced.
State schools and public service offices were also closed.
The focus of the protest are government plans to accelerate privatization and reform labour law, particularly to limit the right to strike.
Mitsotakis, who took office on July 7, has announced an ambitious plan to complete the reforms that Greece must implement in order to receive bailouts and emerge from a crippling economic crisis.
One of the reforms is to limit the right to strike, as the country has been plagued by hundreds of stoppages affecting all sectors including the crucial tourism sector.
It would require the majority of a labour union’s members to vote in favour of a strike for it to be legal.